SchoolHouse Connection is the nation’s leading expert on the early care and education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. We have ushered to passage critical policies and programs for children and youth experiencing homelessness, and provided extensive practical assistance on these policies, including:
- The McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act;
- The Head Start Act and Program Performance Standards;
- The Higher Education Act and FAFSA rules;
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
- The Child Care and Development Fund;
- State laws increasing protections and services for unaccompanied homeless youth; and
- Housing and homeless services initiatives, including school-housing partnerships for unaccompanied homeless youth.
Our Advocacy Principles
Education is Essential
Access to education, from early childhood through post-secondary, gives children and youth the tools to end their homelessness and achieve their dreams.
Change must be rooted in the realities of local communities. We listen and learn, then advocate and implement.
Young people are the experts on their experiences, needs and strengths. We must accept their guidance and follow their lead.
The lack of housing, good nutrition, health care and other basic needs damages childhood development and has lifelong impacts on health and well-being. The developmental needs of children and youth must be central to all advocacy, program design, outcome measures, and policy.
Prevention Must Be a Priority
We will not solve adult homelessness until the complex realities and comprehensive needs of children and youth take a front seat in federal, state, and local homelessness policy. Intervening early is a key to better life outcomes and preventing future homelessness.
SchoolHouse Connection Strongly Condemns Attempted Insurrection
SchoolHouse Connection strongly condemns January 6th’s violent insurrection and the white supremacy that underlies it. We are deeply concerned about the health of our democracy and the added layers of trauma for children and youth witnessing these events – especially children and youth of color, who are disproportionately suffering from the toll of the pandemic and economic crisis – many of whom are also missing the safety and stability of their schools during distance learning. The fate of our most marginalized children and youth is the fate of this nation.
Overcoming Homelessness Through Education Means Fighting Racism
We are sickened, saddened, and angered by the virulent racism in our nation. While this racism has been unveiled in horrific ways in recent days, we know it underlies profound historic and current inequities in education, early care, homelessness, and all aspects of our lives.
At the core of who we are and what we do is our large national grassroots network. We listen and learn, then advocate and implement. Our national network includes:
- young people
- school district homeless liaisons
- state coordinators for homeless education
- federal programs coordinators
- charter schools
- early childhood programs
- higher education institutions and organizations
- college access programs
- service providers
- faith communities
- local, state, and federal government agencies and offices
- legal advocacy organizations
- national and state advocacy organizations for children and youth
- others who are committed to improving the lives of children and youth experiencing homelessness